Waking the dead
“You don’t know me,” the letter began, “but I’m hoping you
can help.” The writer told of an uncle who lived in the town where I pastored
at the time … and he was worried about him.
“My uncle has never known Jesus, and now he is dying,” he
wrote. “I go to an Assemblies of God church, but he has never been a
churchgoer. Can you go and tell him about Jesus before it’s too late?”
Of course I would go, but I was concerned. In-home hospice
situations can present more obstacles than hospital ministry when the family is
I made the call. “Come if you want,” the voice at the other
end of the line said, “but it probably won’t do any good. He hasn’t been
conscious for days.”
I went quickly, desperately praying that God would give me
two miracles: (1) that He would awaken Bill and (2) that Bill would receive
Christ. Two long shots indeed.
I arrived at the home and rapped on the door. I was met by
Bill’s son, there on death watch with the family. He reiterated the futility of
my visit but ushered me into Bill’s room. He left me alone with his father.
Bill was not awake. I spoke to him … and prayed. Then he
stirred and his eyes opened. With a calmness that belied my inner sense of
desperation, I shared the gospel with him, then asked if he would like to
invite Jesus into his heart.
“Not yet,” he said. My heart sank.
“Call my son in here first. I want him to receive Jesus
I led in the sinner’s prayer, and two men, both in tears,
were ushered into God’s kingdom. Shortly after I left, Bill fell unconscious
once more. He never awakened again.
I had asked for two miracles; I received three.
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